Illawarra Mercury Letters to the Editor, June 15, 2017.

What does Muslim mean?

Muslims have lived in Australia since the early to mid-19th century and until a few decades ago lived in a cohesive way and were part of the international fabric that made up the Australian population.

This has changed because of the ever-increasing arrival of Muslims from the Middle East and other Muslim nations. This has set this country's future in a direction that once would never be envisaged.

The new wave of Muslims seem to have brought about great confusion to the wider Australian community.  How many forms of Islam exist? How many interpretation of the Koran's teaching exist? Which group is right in its interpretation? Is Islam a peaceful religion or is it a violent one? Which Muslims are the good ones and who are the evil and cowardly? Do the decent Muslims know who the evil ones are?

Non-Muslims in Australia are told: everything's under our control, our security agencies and police are up to it; along with: don't question, complain, or criticise, because you will find yourself tagged with some awful name – like racist.

In the meantime whilst the number of Muslims swell in this country there is no doubt in my mind we are headed on a course that takes us to the situation where Britain, France, Belgium, and Germany find themselves today.

Richard Burnett, Wollongong

Lights Of Fairy Meadow

Reader's pick: Stone Bridge at Barren Ground captured by Anita Pallas. Send us your photos to or post to our Facebook page.

Reader's pick: Stone Bridge at Barren Ground captured by Anita Pallas. Send us your photos to or post to our Facebook page.

John Buckland in the early days, received a lot of land. A grant that gave him forests, under mountains by the sea. There was coal, and there were streams, and pastures so it seemed, that this paradise was too good to believe.

In 1838, Mr Lysaght built a gate, as the Great South Coast road was cutting past. In another 20 years, Red House Pub was standing there, and Illawarra’s first sub divide grew fast.  A miner from the Yorkshire Downs, in 85 arrived in town, to help fill the milk train for market up in Sydney. When word got out how good things were, new industries began to stir, and rail stock mines and shops, grew to a city. The real magic of this budding town, was when the woodcutters looked down, from the mountain slopes towards the dairies. You could've knocked em all for six, and their eyes were made to blink, when the night fields came alive with lights of fairies.

Men came in from hard days work, and told their wives how in the dark, the magic showed by twinkling lights in meadows. Mothers soothed their children’s woes, with stories that their husbands told, about fantastic lights in Fairy Meadows. Paddocks widened forests thinned, cattle fattened on fields of green, buses ran on new roads gleaned, and floods came out of mountain streams. A brickyard smoked beside the rail, and the fairy lights became a tale, seldom talked about and much more rarely seen.

Para Meadows once was named, from the creek that fed the mill, that ground the flour to make the cakes, and people got their fill. The cutters must have loved the show, of magic lights in fields below, in that special place they called the Fairy Meadow.

Charles Anchor, Thirroul

Shock - horror!

After countless $1 million feasability studies, the- Albion Park Bi-Pass has been found to be more than $100 million over budget, with a funding shortfall as high as $217 million. If the NSW State Government throw any more numbers at me - I'm going to shout BINGO! But there's more! Now an RMS spokesman has entered the Bingo session announcing that another expressions of interests to build the Bi-Pass occurred in March - cant wait for the Budget.

Gareth - why dont you contact Gladys Alphabet, have a cup of tea, fulfill your role as  Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra, and discuss this issue? It will have to be in Sydney's Western Suburbs where the votes are, as Gladys would never find the Illawarra without a GPS.

Mick Chamberlain, Dapto